It would be nice if dessert, the most important thing, could always come first. So here we are.
1-1/2 C whipping cream
1/4 to 1/3 C cocoa powder, sifted (use 1/3 C for dark chocolate flavor)
1/4 to 1/2 C powdered sugar (use 1/4 C for dark chocolate flavor)
1/4 tsp. almond extract, optional
In a chilled mixing bowl, begin whipping cream. Whip until frothy and slightly thick. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Carefully mix until soft peaks form. Add almond extract if desired. Whip until stiff peaks form. Spoon into plastic bag or piping bag with piping tip. Pipe into serving bowls or glasses. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Chocolate puddle cookies
2 C all purpose flour
1/3 C cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 TBS heavy cream
1/2 C softened butter
1/2 C brown sugar, packed
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 tsp. mint extract or vanilla extract – either work!
1/2 C powdered sugar
Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix well. Mix in mint or vanilla extract and eggs. Mix in flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and mix into butter mixture with a tablespoon of cream.
Use a tablespoon to form dough into small balls. Roll them in a small bowl of powdered sugar and place onto lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. Unwrap Hershey’s Kisses and place one onto the center of each cookie immediately after they come out of the oven. The kisses will be super soft. When they are soft, pull the tip off each one and discard.
Bacon-wrapped pork loin
3-4 lbs. boneless pork loin (or tenderloin)
grape seed or olive oil
1 TBS chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
6-7 slices of bacon
1/2 C brown sugar
1-1/2 TBS apple cider vinegar
1 TBS flour
coarse mustard (like Grey Poupon Country Dijon)
For pork, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle 1 TBS grape seed or olive oil and 1/2 TBS of chili oil into oven safe pan and swirl to coat bottom of it. Combine chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl and blend it with your fingertips until combined (reserve 1 tsp. to sprinkle over pork after you have wrapped it with bacon). Rub mixture all over pork, and then wrap pork with bacon right on prepared pan. As you wrap it, make sure ends of bacon are tucked under pork. Overlap bacon slices (somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inch), so they won’t separate as they cook.
Pop it into the oven and cook for 30 minutes, then spoon 1/2 of the glaze over top and bake for 10 minutes more. Drizzle remaining glaze over top and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until pork is done to your liking (cook time will vary by size, weight and girth of meat).
For glaze, in a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, vinegar, flour and mustard. Whisk to combine and heat until just boiling. Sprinkle in red pepper. Taste and adjust to your liking. As stated above, spoon half over pork after it has been cooking 30 minutes. Ten minutes later, repeat with remaining glaze. Let pork stand five minutes before slicing.
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